This copolymer, made of styrene, acrylates and ammonium methacrylate is a water-resistant film-forming agent. It is mixed with butylene glycol and sodium laureth sulfate to create a single material that provides the adhesion and cohesion needed for use in makeup products.
Copolymer compounds create a water-repellent base for products with waterproof qualities. They act by creating a thin flexible film that prevents water from washing the product away.
After a quick search online, you may find that copolymers are sometimes referred to as plastic. There are no official definitions of some types of plastics. A convincing argument can be made one way or the other as to whether Styrene/acrylate/ammonium methacrylate copolymer should be defined as plastic or not. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is a similar material. Any material that may be traced back to the term 'plastic' is, very correctly, under scrutiny.
When people say 'plastic' they mostly mean lunchbox, rigid plastics. And when people say microplastics they mean small particles of rigid plastic that do not biodegrade and can move through water systems and out into oceans. These two polymer ingredients are not solid plastics but are dissolved and used in solution within the product. PVP is soluble in water, as is styrene/acrylate/ammonium methacrylate copolymer, although under specific conditions.
As they are in liquid form they are not thought of in the same way as microplastics and their impact in marine or freshwater environments has not been sufficiently researched yet. The lack of data and conflicting studies around their biodegradability is of great concern to us and we remain on the lookout for any new information on this or alternative, natural compounds.
For these reasons, we have long debated the inclusion of polymers in our makeup. Right now there are no new types that we can use to create the effect we know our customers want. Therefore, to make a product that works well and that is as close as possible to our ethics, we use these two types - PVP and Styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer. Used together, they make it possible to have products that do what our customers need them to do. In makeup, they need to stay on the eyes and face and not slip off or smudge. Therefore the final effects will be long-lasting and beautiful.